In an alternate 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.
A marksman living in exile is coaxed back into action after learning of a plot to kill the president. Ultimately double-crossed and framed for the attempt, he goes on the run to track the real killer and find out who exactly set him up, and why.
Selene, a beautiful vampire warrior, is entrenched in a war between the vampire and werewolf races. Although she is aligned with the vampires, she falls in love with Michael, a werewolf who longs for the war to end.
In a gritty and alternate 1985 the glory days of costumed vigilantes have been brought to a close by a government crackdown, but after one of the masked veterans is brutally murdered an investigation into the killer is initiated. The reunited heroes set out to prevent their own destruction, but in doing so discover a deeper and far more diabolical plot. Written by
Firstly, I have not read the graphic novel. This was deliberate, since I knew there was going to be a movie, and reading any book tends to ruin the movie. I'm sure there are a whole bunch of things in the graphic novel that they left out or changed, and it's hard for those who have read it to imagine how people could understand the subtleties of the story without it. But trust me, the morally complex, multi-layered characters and plot were very well delivered by the movie alone. There was nothing that seemed like it didn't make sense or wasn't quite explained. The movie was just about perfect.
I'm surprised to hear a lot of reviews saying that this is just an action movie for teenage boys; I thought quite the opposite. There was much less action than I expected, the movie centered mostly on emotions and ideas conveyed through dialog, narration and character flashbacks. The action scenes were all fairly short, though when there was action it was delightfully innovative. There were a lot of nasty and unexpected twists like limbs snapping, guts sticking to the ceiling, bones audibly crunching... Every time something violent happened, they made it interesting and shocking rather than recreating the generic ho-hum violence of every other movie. (And there was no obligatory 30-minute-long final action scene culminating in the conclusion of the plot... oh joy! Those get so boring.) Plus, many of the scenes were rather bold for a mainstream film, and showed certain things that are normally hidden off-screen or completely avoided. The only example I feel I can give without spoiling anything is the full frontal male nudity, something that is rather conspicuously hidden in almost every Hollywood movie. This movie isn't concerned about hiding little things like that, just as it isn't concerned about hiding certain subjects that most movies wouldn't show.
This movie definitely isn't for everyone. People expecting another Dark Knight will be disappointed (or, as in my case, thrilled), as this movie is completely unique. People who want an action movie and don't want all that talking and thinking will be disappointed. But to those looking for a long, complicated, deeply moving epic that will really make them think about the very concepts of right, wrong, and heroism (and who haven't read the book, which based on other reviews seems to ruin it): Do NOT miss this movie!
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